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Game of deception does nothing for RSPCA credibility

The Victorian Farmers' Federation Egg Group has called out RSPCA Australia for misleading the public.

Material provided with the recent release of a report into bird welfare done by RSPCA Australia was heavily skewed against cages, completely misrepresenting the report itself.

RSPCA claims...
The truth is...
Caged-hens incur: “the highest number of fractures at the end of their lives, as well as a number of diseases resulting from the restrictive environment.” RSPCA Australia’s own report states: cage-free systems have higher rates of disease and bone fractures over all.
“Birds [in cages] cannot move away from each other… resulting in feather pecking and even cannibalism.” RSPCA Australia’s own report states: that feather pecking and cannibalism is a greater risk in cage free systems than in caged systems.
The egg industry is self-regulated. The Victorian egg farming industry in particular is bound by strict government regulations, including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the specific regulations for poultry under this act.
That they have put together a scientific literature review. RSPCA Australia admits the report has yet to be peer reviewed, saying it “will shortly be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal,” and yet have chosen to release the report before this process has occurred.

“The effect is that they are painting a picture with half-truths while claiming they are being scientific,” VFF Egg Group President Brian Ahmed said.

“Hens can’t display all their natural behaviours in cages, but they also don’t suffer as much disease as cage-free hens and they have a more stable social structure, which reduces the risk of feather pecking. Hens in cages are also less likely to suffer heat stress, hypothermia or to be taken by predators.

“No system is perfect in terms of animal welfare outcomes; each must balance aspects of the five freedoms. It’s the farmer’s responsibility to look after the welfare of their hens no matter the farming system they use.”

“It is then up to consumers to decide which eggs they buy based on their needs, but they need all of the information to do so, not just the bits RSPCA Australia cherry picks for the media.”

 

 

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    The article says "No system is perfect in terms of animal welfare outcomes". In other words, laying hens suffer no matter how they are farmed. Since no one needs to eat eggs (or any other animal product for that matter), surely the logical thing to do is to stop using animals in agriculture. It's time for Australia to move to a 100% vegan agricultural system. See http://www.veganaustralia.org.au/inquiry_hears_case_for_phasing_out_animal_agriculture?parenttag=submission

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